Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Rejoice!

This week Jews are celebrating one of our lesser known holidays, Sukkot. It's the feast of booths, and it lasts a week. On Sukkot, we're commanded to do three things:

1. Build a Sukkah. This is a little hut with a leaky roof. You're supposed to build one and dwell in it. Mostly that means eating in the Sukkah. I gave a lot of thought to building one on our balcony. After all, this is the first year in many years that I have an outdoor space that's mine. My old condo didn't have a balcony. But alas, I haven't built a Sukkah. It didn't seem practical, and I know putting such a thing on the balcony is technically a violation of the apartment rules. So I haven't fulfilled that commandment.

2. Wave the four species. During this holiday, Jews are commanded to have four plants and to wave them. Why? Because we're commanded to. The plants are willow branches, palm fronds, myrtle, and a funny citrus called an etrog. We don't have our four species, so we can't wave them and we can't fulfil that commandment.

3. Rejoice. During Sukkot Jews are commanded to rejoice. And why not? What could be wrong with that. So I'm making sure I rejoice every time I can.

Happy Sukkot. And if you see a strange hut spring up in your neighbor's yard this week, rejoice and wish him a happy Sukkot too.
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